Grandfather clocks

Grandmothersclocks.com

03.03.13

Call it a grandfather clock or a grandmother clock, yet in many instances they may be the identical free-standing floor clock with an enclosed floor clock movement and weight-driven and have a swinging pendulum..  At 1-800-4CLOCKS.com, we typically differentiate between a grandmother clock and a grandfather clock based simply on a height above approximately 80 to 82 inches, which we generally (but not always) term a grandfather clock, and those longcase clocks which are below 80 to 82 inches in height which we generally (and again not always) term grandmother clocks. That is the simple difference between grandfather clocks and grandmothers clocks.  It is important to note we would also take other factors into account, and that many clock experts would not agree with this definition.  But it is this kind of debate on the difference between grandmothersclocks and grandfather clocks that make the clock industry and horology a dynamic and ever-evolving field where experts can reasonably agree, or agree to disagree, or neither, about not only grandfather clocks and grandmother clocks definitions, but also many other aspects including dozens of topics surrounding new and antique grandfather clocks, antique grandmother clocks, antique wall clocks, and antique mantel clocks.  In fact, on mantle clocks, there could reasonably be a spirited debate around whether these should be called mantle clocks or mantle clocks.  An overly simplified distinction would be whether one is in Europe or North America, where Europeans generally favor mantle clocks and Americans generally favor mantel clock, whether new or antique mantle clocks.

Established high-end clock-makers like Howard Miller Clocks have cleverly avoided the debate by referring to all the biggest clocks they sell as Floor Clocks, so the question never even comes up, or at least is answered, by looking at Howard Miller marketing materials.  Ridgeway Grandfather Clocks and Ridgeway Grandmother clocks also avoid that same dubious distinction with Ridgeway Clocks also referring to their clocks as Ridgeway Floor Clocks.  Hermle Clocks only sold grandfather clocks and grandmother clocks by advertising them all as Floor Clocks.  Very recently, within the last year or so, Hermle Clocks has started to term their floor clocks all grandfather clocks, leaving it to their clock customers and Authorized Hermle Clock Dealers to make any distinction they so choose.  Kieninger Clocks has also followed a similar method as Howard Miller, with all of their largest clocks being named Kieninger Floor Clocks unless their Authorized Dealers, like us at 1-800-4CLOCKS.com, choose to advertise and point to certain models in-store as Kieninger Grandfather Clocks and Kieninger Grandmother Clocks.  Given the ownership between Howard Miller Clocks, Kieninger Clocks, and Ridgeway Clocks is all jointly owned, it is not terribly surprising that Howard Miller Grandfather Clock might be described similarly by Ridgeway Clocks and Kieninger Clock as Ridgeway Floor Clocks, Howard Miller Floor Clocks and Kieninger Floor Clocks.

Grandmother Clocks will typically have mechanical clock movements similar or identical to grandfather clocks.  Grandfather clocks and grandmother clocks will also typically have the same clock chimes, with Westminster Chimes being the most popular, and triple chime grandfather clocks which most frequently also include the Whittington Chime and St Michaels Chime.  Sometimes the triple chime floor clocks might instead include Beethovens Ave Maria or Schuberts Ode to Joy, as the 2nd or 3rd chime options.  These are invariably almost always on cable-driven grandfather clocks and cable-driven grandmother clocks.  Chain-driven grandfather clocks and chain-driven grandmother clocks will generally have a single chime, almost always Westminster Chimes, and will also generally have fewer of what might be considered “bells and whistle” features and grandfather clock extras or options like automatic nighttime shutoff, illuminated grandfather clock dials, rotating moonphase dials, and lit cabinets.

Now are there some unique grandmother clock designs which would lead us to classify certain floor clocks over 80 to 82 inches in height  to actually be grandmother clocks, and the answer is absolutely yes.  They would include the grandmother clock design as the basic framing clock categorization element.  Having said that, there are also certain floor clocks below 80 to 82 inches in design they we would think might be better termed grandfather clocks.  This is especially true for antique grandfather clocks and antique grandmother clocks.  Are the floor clocks or tall case clocks which we think could or should reasonably be considered to be called either or both of grandmother clocks and grandfather clocks?  The answer is an unequivocal yes, and for parallel logic reasons already highlighted above.

At 1-800-4CLOCKS, we were also proud to have introduced (and trademarked) several years ago grandson clocks™ .  As many readers of this clock blog will undoubtedly know, granddaughter clocks have been around for centuries and have become part of the clocks and horological lexicon.  Most simply put, they are much shorter than grandmother clocks and grandfather clocks.  We expect and hope that grandson clocks will one day be as widely known and the clock definition and term as widespread in use.

We also at 1-800-4CLOCKS make an effort to make shopping for relatively short grandmother clocks or relatively taller grandfather clocks to be relatively easy by having created separate categories for grandfather clocks and grandmother clocks.  While on the one hand this initially confuses some of our clock shopping customers in that they see the same clock under 2 categories, customers quickly recognize that this is much easier than calling the same clock by different names.  See for yourself by visiting the following 2 links below each picture:

 

Grandfather Clock Online Store

02.25.13

Bricks and mortar grandfather clock stores vs online grandfather clock shops is becoming more and more of a necessary and realistic choice for many shopper not only of grandfather clocks, but also of wall cocks and mantle clocks by the highest end clock makers such as Howard Miller Clocks, Ridgeway Clock Company, Hermle Clock, Kieninger Clocks, Americana Clocks and, more.

Not only are actual clock shops a dwindling yet hopefully not dying breed – we at 1-800-4CLOCKS.com were forced to close our NYC Grand Central Station Clock store location not for economic reasons but simply because of changing times and needs for existing spaces, and the lack of affordable comparable retail space available, especially with more and more competition from companies similar to ours like us who also have a web-based presence in addition to one or multiple home store locations.

A challenge has been to try attempt to bring as much of the home store shopping experience to the internet, while at the same time maintaining our retail store presence for our more local geographic market.  When a customer is considering one of several high-end Howard Miller Grandfather Clocks or a Ridgeway Grandfather Clock or one of Hermle Floor Clocks, there is a natural inclination to want to see and hear and touch the actual grandfather clock model one is considering purchasing.  At the same time, ironically, we find that a good percentage of grandfather clock shoppers, even those who are searching for grandfather clocks on sale and discount grandfather clocks are frequently the same people who are most in need of a genuine education of the different types on grandfather clocks, the major clock brands, the ones to stay away from at all costs, the differences within individual grandfather clock makers separate from traditional grandfather clocks vs contemporary grandfather clocks, and also the various features, the types of grandfather clock movements, including single chime Westminster Chimes, and Triple Chime Grandfather Clocks, which mostly include the Whittington and St Michael Chimes, but sometimes also Beethovens Ode to Joy and Schuberts Ave Maria.  There are also grandfather clock, mantle clock and wall clock movement differences including tubular chime grandfather clock movement vs cable driven movements and chain driven movements, and even quartz or battery operated movements which nowadays are used in all clock types.

So what is a grandfather clock shopper to do?  Fortunately, in some ways, with careful vetting, researching and locating the grandfather clock or mantel clock or wall clock of your dreams nay be made much easier with trusted internet sites and credible knowledgeable individuals who will be there to answer honestly both the simple and the more complex questions about any clock purchase, whether it be Howard Miller, Hermle, Kieninger, Ridgeway or another, and whether a grandfather clock, grandmother clock, mantel clock, gallery wall clock, atomic clock. novelty clock, and especially antique clocks and antique grandfather clocks, one of our specialties.

To us, as they used to say in grade school and clock school, there truly is no such thing as a stupid clock question, and it is in our DNA and everyone who works with us to attempt to be as informative and patient as possible with any and every prospective customer, whether they end up buying from us or not.  Our policy for years has been to ever work on a clock sales commission basis, and we find some flabbergasted customers when we occasionally tell them for whatever the reason that we think they are better off buying the clock we are discussing at another dealer or even from another individual person.  Of course we need to make money to stay in the clock business, yet we are also driven both by a love of clocks, and seeing that same clock love in the eyes of our customers and helping them with the clock or clocks that will most help make their space or that of a loved one more special to them.

So grandfather clocks online or bricks and mortar clock shopping, or some of both, we strive to give clock customers all the tools they need to make the best decision for them, their families and other gift recipients.  One of our favorite telephone calls to get, even if a sale or non-sale takes 2-3 months to play out, is that I think I want a grandfather clock but I do not really know anything about them.  What can you tell me?  We think even Aristotle would have enjoyed those clock discussions as much as we do.  Perhaps one of the children of the writer of this post, who both have as one of their life’s goals to build a working and reusable time machine, will enable us to test this clock theory and hypothesis.

Howard Miller J. H. Miller II Grandfather Clock

Model 611-031 611031 Limited Edition Tubular Chime Howard Miller Clock by Howard Miller Clocks

 

 

Grandfather Clocks Catalog

02.23.13

As a long-time leading retailer of grandfather clocks, we are frequently asked for our grandfather clock catalog.  This is especially true because of our roots in direct marketing as a grandfather clock catalog retailer with a memorable toll-free number.  Of course we have always sold and featured wall clocks, mantel clocks, cuckoo clocks, grandmother clocks, atomic clocks, antique grandfather clocks, and antique timepieces of all sorts including pocket watches and some amazing antique grandmother clocks, regulators, congreve clocks, inclined plane clocks, automata, sterling silver sundial-compass combinations and much more.

Antique clocks always present a special challenge to market in a catalog, as any experienced auction house knows.  There is almost always just one of the antique clocks or watches for sale, so listing these timepieces with a fixed price can create many headaches.  Yet at the same time, despite the currently appearing ubiquitous presence of auctions online and off, from eBay to Christies to Sothebys, many buyers and sellers prefer the old fixed price antique market model, much like one would find in a fine antique clock and watch shop.

Many readers of this blog post, the fifty and over generations, will remember to some degree the old Sears and Roebuck Catalog, that literally set the standard for the catalog direct marketing revolution that it began.  Even the Catalogs themselves became collector’s items, as did reprints of the original Sears Catalogs.

However, fast-forward one hundred years into the future, meaning today, and the web and individual websites like 1-800-4CLOCKS.com have taken over as the modern-days Catalogs of choice.  New grandfather clocks and wall clock collections can be added daily.  Grandmother Clocks on backorder can be noted as such so grandmother clocks on backorder will not disappoint customers.  Complete new lines and brands can be added in a day.  Consumer expectations about the customer shopping experience have gone through the roof, as grandfather clock shoppers and those searching for wall clocks discounts and mantel clocks on sale expect that anything they see on a website for sale is absolutely in stock.

Grandfather clock makers such as Howard Miller Clocks, Ridgeway Grandfather Clock Collection, Kieninger Clocks, and Hermle Floor Clocks are much better then ever before about providing more current inventory data.  Yet at the same time, this grandfather clock, wall clock and mantle clock data will not be real time.  And some clocks, including Kieninger Grandfather Clocks and wall clocks and mantle clocks, and some of the Hermle clock models, including Hermle Grandfather Clocks and Mantel and Wall Clocks can have a 2-4 month lead time and are generally considered prepaid custom orders.  This is hard to communicate either in an old-fashioned direct marketing catalog and even in a great website like the one we have at 1-800-4CLOCKS.

1908 Sears Roebuck Catalog Sold Clocks and Watches

1908 Sears Roebuck Catalog Sold Grandfather Clocks and Watches

The good news is that with the advent of the internet, we are able to offer both selection and savings never before imagined even 20 years ago.  More choices, higher discounts on the best grandfather clocks, better pictures of each clock, and even the ability to hear a specific clock chime and offer supersize pictures can all really recreate the grandfather clock gallery shopping experience.  A tradeoff is that many fewer of us bricks and mortar-type stores are surviving, especially as new and competing technologies are vying for some of the same shopping dollars that were previous spent on grandfather clocks and wall clocks.  Not only can one see the current time on most any personal computer or MacBook, but also on iPhones and other mobile devices including the Samsung Galaxy.

Having said that, there is nothing that competes with the old world charm of a grandfather clock or wall clock or mantle clocks, whether a new or antique clock.  A grandfather clock is truly the heartbeat of the home.

Grandfather Clock Blog

02.11.13

So, say you want to start a blog about the Grandfather Clock world, and these grandfather clocks are also known by such names as Floor Clocks, Hall Clocks, Free-Standing Clocks, Longcase Clocks, Tall Case Clocks and I’m sure we are leaving some names out here as well.  Now should this great new blog be called Grandfather Clock Blog, or should it be called Grandmother Clock Blog, Floor Clocks Blog, or maybe even Grandfather Clocks Blog.

Well, some years ago at 1-800-4CLOCKS.com, we faced this very exact dilemma.  We opted to go with Grandfather Clocks Blog, and found on the internet at this very website.  However, at around the same time, we cleverly, if we say so ourselves, reserved the domain GrandfatherClockBlog.com, in case we decided to use it instead, or additionally in some way.  So we are delighted to report the news that as of today GrandfatherClockBlog dot com can now also be found by visiting www.grandfatherclockblog.com.  You can even look at our Best of Grandfather Clocks Blof highlights, as well as Best of Clocks Blog, and Latest 1-800-4CLOCKS Blog Highlights, all from the bottom of the 1-800-4CLOCKS home page and every page on the website.

At Grandfather Clocks Blog, and Grandfather Clock Blog, we will continue to aim to bring to you the best information about all aspect of grandfather clocks ownership and the grandfather clock purchase preceding it.  We not only focus on antique grandfather clocks, but also on vintage grandfather clocks, like Sligh Grandfather Clocks, Seth Thomas Grandfather Clocks, Trend and Pearl Grandfather Clocks, and even Bulova Grandfather Clocks which ceased production a few years ago.

We also look at brands of the best grandfather clocks, and compare the styles, movements, features, and other pros and cons within and between grandfather clock makers and in their own grandfather clock lines.  Featured most prominently are Howard Miller Grandfather Clocks, Kieninger Grandfather Clocks, Hermle Grandfather Clocks, Americana Grandmother and Grandfather Clocks, Ridgeway Clocks, and of course Kieninger Grandfather Clocks.

We also sell and service antique grandfather clocks and antique grandmother clocks.

We look at traditional vs contemporary grandfather clocks, we look at mechanical grandfather clock movements and compare chain-driven mechanical movements, cable-driven mechanical movements, quartz or battery driven mechanical movements, and even tubular chime grandfather clock movements.  Not only do we look at the grandfather clock cases and their construction and parts and styles, but we also look at mechanical grandfather clock movements, including triple chime movements, which may include either Westminster Chimes, Schubert’s Ave Maria or Beethoven’s Ode to Joy, or the more traditional triple-chime combination of Westminster, Whittington and St. Michaels chimes.

Styles of grandfather clock cases, including split-pediment, also frequently known as swans neck pediment, compared to bonnet top grandfather clocks, and of course the rectangular top, not to mention the many contemporary grandfather clock model options.

We also look at features offered on various clock models, and can advise you, based on your own criteria and desires, on value of the money spent for different grandfather clock options, including automatic night-time shutoff, illuminated dials, illuminated cabinets, chime-silence option, cable vs. chain-driven, faux vs rotating moonphase dial, single chime grandfather clocks, usually having the Westminster Chime, vs. triple-chime models, and many other aspects.

A knowledgeable customer is something we are always willing to help a customer become, if they want or need that help.

Tribute of Treasures

02.07.13

This year’s Antiques and Garden Show of Nashville honors the legendary interior designer Albert Hadley

Precious Metals

02.05.13

Renowned Italian jewelry designer Lucia Odescalchi opens a stylish new showroom in Milan

Kieninger Grandfather Clock

01.29.13

When comparing grandfather clock makers, Kieninger Grandfather Clocks come out on top for design and overall quality in the minds of many high-end grandfather clock shoppers.  Kieninger Clock is run independently of Howard Miller Clocks, even though Howard Miller bought Kieninger Clocks about eight years ago.  Kieninger Clcoks, along with Hermle Clocks, remain the last two high-end grandfather clock movement manufacturers left in the world today who make grandfather clock movements in any high quantity.  Additionally, both Hermle Clocks and Kieninger Clocks also offer their own lines of grandfather clocks, mantle clocks, wall clocks and more.  Kieninger is in our experience much better known in Western Europe than it is the USA, though it is certainly one of the finest mechanical grandfather clock, wall clock and mantel clock makers around today.

Both Hermle and Kieninger make and offer their own brand of clocks, in addition to selling their clock movements, including mechanical wall, grandfather clock, grandmother clock, and mantel clock movements to other makers, including over the years Bulova Grandfather Clocks, Howard Miller Grandfather Clocks, Sligh Grandfather Clocks, Ridgeway Grandfather Clocks, Americana Grandfather Clocks and others.  The movements offered are generally speaking, and in our opinion, fairly comparable in quality, although sometimes that needs to be examined on a clock-buy-clock basis.  Both offer mechanical movements with chimes including Westminster, Whittington, Ave Maria, Ode to Joy, St Michaels and Bim Bam chimes.  The movements with either brand, for grandfather clocks, can be cable-driven or chain-driven, have an automatic night silence feature or not, be time only or time and strike, or single chime, usually the Westminster, or triple-chime clocks.  The clocks may have a working moondial, a faux or fake moonphase dial, or none at all.  A chime silence option is offered on most all, but not all, grandfather clocks, wall clocks, grandmother clocks and mantel clocks movements made by each of Kieninger and Hermle.

Kieninger has been around for almost 100 years, so some of their earliest clocks, including early floor clocks by Kieninger, can be considered antique grandfather clocks and antique grandmother clocks.

One unusual aspect of Kieninger Clocks is that almost all of their models are made to order in Germany AFTER an order in placed with an Authorized Kieninger Dealer like 1-800-4CLOCKS in the USA.  The lead time between when an order is placed and when it is actually delivered is generally 2-3 months.  All orders are considered Custom and once an order is placed is cannot be canceled.  Generally, when a customer expresses an interest in a particular clock, the Authorized Dealer needs to check with Kieninger in Germany to ensure that all the component parts are available and advise if there may be any timing issues in that regard.

Sounds a little difficult, time consuming, and a lot of patience is required.  Given the number of ultimately satisfied customers who end up purchasing a Kieninger Clock, the wait and cost appear to be well worth the time and money.

In Stock Grandfather Clocks

01.09.13

One question we get fairly regularly from our grandfather clocks shoppers is: do you have the such-and-such model of the Howard Miller Grandfather Clock available, or the Ridgeway Grandfather Clocks or Hermle Floor Clock, so I can come in and see the actual clock model before I place my order.  The grandfather clock reality is that it is highly unlikely that either we or any other Authorized Dealer for the major clock companies will have any specific grandfather clock model on display.  While a few grandfather clock dealers around the country still stock large numbers of high-end grandfather clocks and grandmother clocks, the reality of grandfather clocks economics in recent decades is that there are fewer and fewer dealers both around in general, and of those that are still around, even fewer who may stock more than at most a handful of high-end grandfather clock models by any specific high-end maker.

For many years in our NYC Grand Central Station showroom, we typically at most would have 3-4 Howard Miller grandfather clocks on display at any one time.  In our case, it is also importantly because we deal in and with antique clocks as well as new clocks, and from the very smallest miniature clocks to the largest tower clocks and street clocks in the world, doing service and having dome for many years most all of our clock repairs on-site as well.  So when you add all of that up together, for any specific niche clock, e.g. an antique grandfather clock or a new mantel clock, the many categories and permutations mean there is that much less room for any specific clock category, much less any specific maker of grandfather clocks or floor clocks in this case.

Whenever we can, we find it makes the most sense to ship a factory fresh grandfather clock directly from the manufacturer’s warehouse, assuming they are in fact in stock there.  This is also true for higher end wall clocks and mantel locks.  The reasoning is that if the grandfather clock, or the wall clock or mantle clock, ship only once, that minimizes the chance of any potential shipping damage, which is rare, but each time a clock ships the chance of shipping damage increases if not exponentially then still significantly.  Additionally, the customers knows that he or she is getting a 100% brand new factory fresh grandfather clock, and that it is authentic, and that it is not a seconds or floor model or anything like that – we would never sell a Floor Model to a customer unless the customer were made explicitly aware that was the history of the item and that they were OK with it.  Additionally, not well known, but important for all grandfather clock shoppers to know, is that some grandfather clock maker warranties include a calculation based on the actual date of manufacture, so that if, say, a clock was made more than 4 years ago, even if it were bought from an authorized dealer yesterday, the manufacturer’s warranty would no longer be valid.  We are always very upfront with our customers about this fact, so that there are no grandfather clocks warranty surprises for anyone.

Because we must pay State sales tax on any grandfather clocks we sell shipped to New York (not many are “carried out”), the vast majority of our sales are to individuals and organizations outside of New York State.  Those grandfather clock customers, whom like any smart shopper nowadays is looking the grandfather clocks on sale and looking to maximize the discount grandfather clock possibilities, are the ones who frequently beat a path to our door.

Grandfather Clocks Factory Direct shipping on palletsGrandfather Clocks Factory Direct sometimes ship on pallets

Hermle Grandfather Clock

12.08.12

Franz Hermle started the Hermle Clocks Company in the Black Forest region of Germany in the early 1900s.  Today, Hermle Clocks makes some of the finest and highest quality grandfather clocks, wall clocks, and mantel clocks available today anywhere in the world.

Time never stands still and is becoming increasingly precious. Ever since its founding in 1922, the company, started by Franz Hermle in Gosheim, has developed constantly.  With its three German cornerstones – Uhrenmanufaktur, Mechanische Uhrwerke, and Drehteile – Hermle serves diverse markets and customer groups worldwide.  Fully in keeping with its mission to ensure that with each product, it develops, manufactures and delivers the very highest in clock making quality.  Grandfather clocks have been one of their special offerings throughout, with Hermle Grandfather Clocks, Hermle Grandmother Clocks, and Grandfather Clocks made by other makers with Hermle’s mechanical grandfather clocks movements inside their cases, all being extremely sought offer and collectible.

Hermle clocks, including Hermle Grandfather Clocks, are made by hand to a large extent and enhanced with interesting technical as well as visual details, making them highly sought after.  Whether floor grandfather clock, wall clock, table clock, ship’s clock or a regulator, Hermle Clocks masterpieces  represent time in its finest form all over the world.  There are many Hermle clocks out there in the world that are considered antique grandfather clocks, antique mantel clocks, and antique wall clocks.  Hermle has been around long enough to have earned that distinction with its earlier clock models.

In 1922, the founder Mr. Franz Hermle founded the Franz Hermle Clock Company located in Gosheim in Baden Wuerttemberg, a small town in southern Germany’s Black Forest region. Within 10 years the company became known as one of the most efficient manufacturers of clock movements in the clock industry.  Even though the first half of the 20th Century brought with it many difficulties to overcome, including the complete dismantling of the factory after the World War II, Franz Hermle and his sons’ dedication allowed them to prosper while other companies struggled.

Franz Hermle passed away in 1953 and left a modern and prosperous operation to his sons Gebhard, Alfred, Hans and Heinrich Hermle.  With tremendous willpower and energy, they continued to build the company into the worldwide leader in manufacturing mechanical movements and clocks.  Along with Kieninger Clocks, they are one of the last 2 remaining clock companies who make high end high quality grandfather clock movements in any large quantities.
In 1977, Hermle decided to establish another manufacturing facility, Hermle Black Forest Clock Company to serve the North American market out of Amherst, Virginia, USA. Hermle Headquarters in southern Germany is now in its third generation, and still family owned and operated. Hermle employs over 200 people in 3 locations in both Germany and USA. In October 2010, Hermle Gosheim was rebranded as Hermle Uhrenmanufacktur GmbH, and as of January 2011, Hermle Black Forest Clocks re-branded and renamed itself as Hermle North America.
Hermle Clocks has just recently started making solid wood grandfather clocks with the cases all being Made in America.  Known as it Made in America Grandfather Clocks line, the clocks in this great selection are just beginning to come to market.  We think these grandfather clocks in particular, which still have the Hermle German mechanical movements inside, are worth a special look by people shopping for high-end grandfather clocks.
Looking for grandfather clocks on sale or discounts on grandmother clocks, mantle clocks or wall clocks made by Hermle.  It never hurts to call us at 1-800-4CLOCKS (1-800-4CLOCKS, ext. 1) to see what special unadvertised sales or grandfather clock discounts we might be offering.  You might just find your favorite grandfather clocks on sale.

Here is a sampling of some of our favorite Hermle Clocks:

Our Favorite Hermle Grandfather Clocks

Hermle Wall Clocks Hermle Wall Clocks

Hermle Mantel Clocks Hermle Mantel Clocks

Original Founding Hermle Clocks Location in Old Gosheim Germany

News Clips Grandfather Clocks

12.03.12

At 1-800-4CLOCKS.com, where we offer the widest selection and savings on all kinds of new and antique grandfather clocks, wall clocks and mantel clocks, we are always on the lookout for any special news story featuring clocks of all types and sizes.

We were recently informed by a customer that some clocks, including a grandfather clock and wall clock, still partially intact, reached the shores of the western continental USA, and are thought to be from the earthquake and tsunami that devastated so much of Japan just a little over a year ago. While the mechanisms were mostly all gone and ruined, the grandfather clocks and wall clock cases themselves, while also effectively no longer of use for much of anything, still maintained their overall shape and grandfather clock construction and wall clock case design. These antique clocks effectively acted like a combination of ships and driftwood and different points in their journey. We have yet to see any actual news reports on this, but we are hopeful it may be covered by some of the major media outlets including television and newspapers that have recently done stories on debris washing up on different parts of Hawaii.

Given Japan’s culture and rich history and reverence for antiquities, we know from first-hand experience that many Japanese citizens collect both many types of clocks, including mantle, wall and grandfather clocks, and also pocket watches and even sundials. We have sold many antique clocks to customers in Japan, and we have heard from many individuals who are looking to replace a cherished heirloom clock that may have been in their family for many generations, and they hope they can find one that is nearly identical in form and design if not the very same clock.

When natural disasters strike, including Hurricane Katrina and the more recent Hurricane Sandy, we tend to hear from good numbers of individuals who are looking perhaps not only for insurance claims, but also to replace a treasured item in their home with something that will be meaningful to them. While we most shy away from doing grandfather clock appraisals, and antique clock appraisals in general, because it can be such a murky area, we usually try to help these individuals to the extent we can. Sometimes we get great new customers for grandfather clocks that way, as well as those replacing mantel clocks and wall clocks, but we do it to try to keep the spirit of antique clocks collecting and grandfather clock ownership alive and hopefully thriving in our ever more modern society.

Grandfather clocks, much like a fireplace in Winter, were seen by many families as the gathering spot in the living room around which to congregate. Now that grandfather clocks and mantel clocks have more competition from televisions and computers, not to mention telephones, grandfather clocks are less the heartbeat of the home than they used to be.

We hope to keep the grandfather clock heartbeat tradition and ticking alive in homes around the world through good times and bad, through periods of vast technological progress (think atomic clocks), and with natural disasters that seem to be coming ever more frequently. But let us hope and cherish the safe time together.

Grandfather Clocks floating between Continents Reaches Shore

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